Summer 2018 Seminar on Material Culture: Nominations for Graduate Student Participants

Call for Nominations

The Use of Art and Material Culture in Scholarship and Teaching

A Seminar in Material Culture for Graduate Students in Classics and Ancient History

Directed by Professors Antony Augoustakis and Daniel Leon

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

21 May – 29 June 2018

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana IL

Supported by generous grants from the Leon Levy Foundation and the School of Literatures, and Cultures and Linguistics of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Society for Classical Studies (SCS) invites doctoral programs in Classics or Ancient History to nominate a student to participate in a 6-week seminar that will introduce participants to the use of material culture in their scholarship and teaching. The aim of the seminar is to familiarize students with archaeological material that goes hand in hand with the historical and literary records, and how to incorporate such evidence into historical or philological research. This will be the third of three planned seminars with the same purpose, although each had a different focus.  The first took place at the J. Paul Getty Museum in 2016, and the second at Emory University in 2017.

Background. Despite new awareness of the scope of material evidence, and the ready availability of excellent images, all too often literary scholars treat images as decoration or illustration, while historians exploit the material record only gingerly. Probably more important than “literature” was the oral tradition, and the essential web of images that arose from it. Conversely, it has been wisely said of archaeology that it is a branch of ancient history.

This seminar offers students an opportunity to engage with the material record on a daily basis. Over the six weeks, every effort will be made to introduce the widest range of possibilities encountered in the archaeological record. Not only pottery and sculpture in bronze and marble will be considered, but also works in precious or exotic materials like ivory, gold, silver, amber, gems, glass, faience, and colored stones. Questions of manufacture and circulation will predominate: how these objects were made, by whom, for whom, why, and how to recognize them in the literary, historical and epigraphic record.

Resources and Faculty. Participants will have access to the University’s two teaching and research museums which hold extensive Greek and Roman collections. The Krannert Art Museum has a fine collection of Attic vases dating from the middle Archaic to the early Classical periods (http://kam.illinois.edu/collection/ancient/), published as a fascicule in the Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum (USA, fasc. 24, 1989). The Spurlock’s Museum Workman Gallery of the Ancient Mediterranean Cultures features an extensive collection of artifacts (pottery, sculpture, coins) from Greece and Rome, as well as an incomparable collection of plaster casts reproducing the whole Parthenon frieze, the Ara Pacis and numerous individual sculptures (http://www.spurlock.illinois.edu/exhibits/permanent/med/).

Furthermore, the Classics Library Collection is among the three largest libraries of its kind in the nation, and one of the most important in the world (http://www.library.illinois.edu/clx/). The collection was initially enriched by the acquisition of the libraries of Dittenberger and Vahlen. Perhaps more than any other American institution of higher learning, the University of Illinois has tied its academic enterprise to the cultivation of its research library, and the Classics collection is one of its jewels: it is autonomous (all books and journals located in one space), on the second floor of the Main Library, adjacent to the primary Reading Room and the Main Stacks.

The course is co-ordinated by Professors Antony Augoustakis and Daniel Leon together with a group of scholars from the University and neighboring schools: Professor Susan Rotroff (Greek Archaeology, Washington University in St. Louis), Professor Sinclair Bell (Etruscan and Roman Archaeology, Northern Illinois University), Professor James Dengate (Greek Archaeology and Numismatics, UIUC), Professor Susan Frankenberg (Coordinator of Museum Studies, UIUC), Dr. Katherine Kreindler (Etruscan Archaeology, UIUC), Professor John Senseney (Greek and Roman Architecture, UIUC), Dr. Maureen Warren (Curator of European and American Art, Krannert Art Museum, UIUC).

Proximity to Chicago and St. Louis will allow participants to benefit from two excursions to visit the Art Institute of Chicago and the St. Louis Art Museum in order to study additional artifacts.

Schedule. The seminar is structured in broadly chronological terms, from Greece and the Near East to Rome and the West, including lectures on museum studies and modern technological advances. Three two-hour classes are planned around an over-arching theme each week, outlined in the synopsis. Additional two-hour sessions will provide students with guided study regarding their projects. Excursions to local artists’ workshops and to Chicago/St. Louis are planned for the end of each week.  Click here for a synopsis of the schedule.

Expectations of Students. Students will be evaluated based on a combination of exercises on each week’s instruction and a larger research project developed on an individual basis. We expect students to identify a project that suits their interests and uses University of Illinois resources. Each student will pursue their project under the supervision of one of the leading discussants in the seminar and in collaboration with Professors Augoustakis and Leon. The seminar will include mini-presentations on objects from the collections as well as on the individual projects of the students. At the conclusion of the seminar the directors will submit a written report to each student’s home department, assessing the student’s progress in working with material culture.

Logistics and Funding. Students selected for the seminar will be offered free accommodation at the University of Illinois (furnished apartments). Bus service is provided for transportation to the Museums and classrooms/library. As a campus of about 50,000 students, options for food and entertainment are many and multicultural. The University is located 130 miles south of Chicago. Champaign-Urbana is accessible by airplane (University of Illinois Willard airport, serviced by American Airlines and United with several daily flights to and from Chicago and Dallas), as well as Amtrak trains and numerous bus routes. In addition, thanks to the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation, the SCS will provide a stipend of up to $2,000 to cover the cost of travel to and from Illinois, and modest out of pocket expenses. The SCS believes that these arrangements will offset many but by no means all of the costs of attendance at the seminar.

Nomination Process. Each doctoral program may nominate only one student for the seminar. The focus of the student’s academic work should be classical languages, literatures, and/or history and not archaeology or other areas of material culture. Preference will be given to graduate students who are still taking coursework or in the early stages of writing their dissertation. Nominators should elicit from potential applicants a CV and a statement of the value that the student expects to derive from attending the seminar, choose one applicant to nominate, and forward the CV and statement to the SCS Executive Director (xd@classicalstudies.org), along with a brief endorsement. The student’s statement should be 500 to 700 words in length and should describe how the seminar would advance the applicant’s education and scholarly interests. The student him or herself should also email the Executive Director (xd@classicalstudies.org) with full name, mailing address, phone number.

A committee consisting of Professors Antony Augoustakis and Daniel Leon as co-chairs and Professors Mary English (SCS Vice President for Education) and Donald Mastronarde (SCS VP for Publications and Research) will select participants from ten different academic institutions and a variety of countries of origin. Although many applicants from North America are expected, students from all countries are equally welcome. Reasonable fluency in English is the only requirement.

Nominations by departments and emails from student nominees including their full contact information should be submitted electronically to xd@classicalstudies.org no later than 15 February 2018. The SCS will announce the decisions of the selection committee by the end of February. Questions about the seminar program may be directed to Professor Augoustakis at aaugoust@illinois.edu or by telephone at 217 333 7327.

--

(Photo: Marble Head of Empress Fausta. Gift of Betty Campanile, 1982.07.000. Image courtesy of the Spurlock Museum, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)


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The APA is a member of the National Humanities Alliance (NHA), a consortium of over a hundred scholarly and professional associations; higher education associations; organizations of museums, libraries, historical societies and state humanities councils; university-based and independent humanities research centers; and colleges and universities.  NHA monitors national legislation and policy affecting the humanities and informed us this week that the Appropriations Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives has recommended that the 2014 fiscal year appropriation for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) be $79 million, a 49% reduction from its 2013 appropriation of $154.3 million. 

The NHA’s web site contains more information about this recommendation as well as a mechanism that APA members can use to write to their Representatives about a level of funding that would seriously reduce the NEH’s ability to support research in the humanities and share the work of humanities scholars with a wider public.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 07/23/2013 - 5:13pm by Adam Blistein.

We are posting a call for signatures to a petition launched by our colleagues in Bern, Switzerland, and circulated by Prof. Thomas Späth, the President of the Swiss Association of Classical Philologists.  As you will see from the message, the canton of Bern is proposing to abolish the study of Greek (and Russian) in high schools.  This is a bad enough step in itself, but if successful it may start a domino effect and make the other cantons consider the abolition of Greek as well.  We thought this was an important petition to draw to your attention, and we urge members to read the message and to consider signing the petition.

Denis Feeney

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 07/22/2013 - 3:10pm by Adam Blistein.

Jennifer Ebbler, Associate Professor at UT Austin, in The Chronicle (http://chronicle.com/article/Introduction-to-Ancient/140475/)

"I spent last year "flipping" my 400-student "Introduction to Ancient Rome" course. For those unfamiliar with the term, "flipping a class" means that students watch lectures online outside of class and then spend class time participating in discussions and working on problems.

"It's a concept that has gotten an undeservedly bad name because supporters of so-called disruptive education have tied it to the controversial massive-open-online-course movement, which says students are served just as well, if not better, by an absent "star" professor than by faculty members employed by their university."

Read more …

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Mon, 07/22/2013 - 2:38pm by Information Architect.

A CAMNE Conference at Durham University
20-22 September 2013
Department of Classics and Ancient History, Durham University, 38 North Bailey, Durham, DH1 3EU, England

'The cosmos of a polis is manpower, of a body beauty, of a soul wisdom, of an action virtue, of a speech truth, and the opposites of these make for acosmia.'

- Gorgias, Encomium of Helen 1

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Mon, 07/08/2013 - 1:24pm by .

The Chronicle of Higher Education has recently published three articles arguing against the "conventional wisdom" about enrollments in the humanities and financial outcomes of humanities students.  They are by

Alexander Beecroft, Executive Director of the American Comparative Literature Association

Michael Berube, Past President of the Modern Language Association

Anthony Grafton and James Grossman, Past President and Executive Director, respectively, of the American Historical Association. 

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Thu, 07/04/2013 - 8:00pm by Adam Blistein.

The APA Office will be closed on Thursday and Friday, July 4 and 5, 2013.  We will reopen on Monday, July 8.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 07/01/2013 - 1:40pm by Adam Blistein.

Tutto Theatre Company of Austin, Texas, proudly announces the world premiere of Zeus in Therapy, an original theatrical experience adapted from the unpublished poetry of Douglass Stott Parker by the company, and directed by Gary Jaffe.  In 1979, Prof. Parker began writing Zeus in Therapy, a cycle of 52 poems which imagines Zeus on the therapist’s couch. Parker did not ‘finish’ it, though he stopped writing in about 1993, and left it unpublished during his lifetime. Every new poem in the cycle was shared both on his office door and with his classes on a weekly basis for some 25 years. Parker’s poetry is whimsical and profound, cosmic and quotidian, thoughtful and irreverent, but always heartfelt and true. The Company’s translation of Zeus in Therapy into a theatrical experience will bring the power of his words to an even larger audience.

In this adaptation, a diverse ensemble of eleven performers will play Zeus, giving Parker’s words a dynamic range of expression.  Zeus in Therapy runs August 16th through 25th at the Rollins Studio Theater in The Long Center for the Performing Arts in Austin.

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Mon, 07/01/2013 - 1:01pm by Adam Blistein.

From The New York Times:

For the last time: Archimedes did not invent a death ray.

An oil painting of Archimedes by Giuseppe Patania, an early 19th century Italian artist, hangs in Palermo. Two inventions credited to Archimedes, death rays and steam cannons, have proved to be stubborn myths.

But more than 2,200 years after his death, his inventions are still driving technological innovations — so much so that experts from around the world gathered recently for a conference at New York University on his continuing influence.

The death ray legend has Archimedes using mirrors to concentrate sunlight to incinerate Roman ships attacking his home of Syracuse, the ancient city-state in the southeast Sicily. It has been debunked no fewer than three times on the television show “Mythbusters” (the third time at the behest of President Obama).

Read more…

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Wed, 06/26/2013 - 1:07pm by Information Architect.

On June 19 the Amiercan Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) released the report of its Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences, a group formed over two years ago in response to a request from members of Congress for a report that would respond to the following question:  What are the top ten actions that Congress, state governments, universities, foundations, educators, individual benefactors, and others should take now to maintain national excellence in humanities and social scientific scholarship and education, and to achieve long-term national goals for our intellectual and economic well-being; for a stronger, more vibrant civil society; and for the success of cultural diplomacy in the 21st century? 

Louis Cabot, Chair of the Academy Board, described the report in the following message to Academy Fellows:

I am pleased to announce that the Academy's Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences released its report The Heart of the Matter on Capitol Hill this morning.

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Thu, 06/20/2013 - 1:11pm by Adam Blistein.

The 2012-2013 Placement Service Year will end on June 30, 2013.  During the next few weeks, we will perform maintenance on the Placement Service Portal Page to prepare it for 2013-2014.  If you plan to enroll with the Service for 2013-14, PLEASE WAIT for our announcement that will state when enrollment is open for the upcoming Placement Year.  If you enroll prior to our announcement, you will not be issued a refund.

After more than 30 years, the AIA has chosen to terminate its participation with the APA in the Placement Service.  For more information, please visit http://apaclassics.org/index.php/apa_blog/apa_blog_entry/4171/.  If you are currently an AIA member, and you plan to enroll with the APA Placement Service in 2013-2014, you will have to pay the higher, non-member fee (USD $55.00) to enroll.  The APA Member’s fee to utilize the Placement Service is USD $20.00, and you must pay dues for 2013 before the end of June if you wish to register for the Service in July.  Payment may be made online.  The APA welcomes all students of the ancient world, and its members advance the study of the classical antiquity in all its aspects.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 06/18/2013 - 6:25pm by Adam Blistein.

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